Engineering Intern | Nuclear
“What I’m doing at OPG matters. The tools that I prepared for the outage were successfully deployed, and helped ensure safe operation of the plant.”
Favourite Films: The Fast and the Furious, Rush
Personal Passion: Fitness, soccer, and Formula One
Secret Talent: “Creative thinking and a strong work ethic.”
Martin landed an internship opportunity at OPG in his third year of mechanical engineering studies at McMaster University. He was originally drawn to the company because he admired OPG’s priorities on creating clean energy and safety excellence, and had heard about the internship program through his network. He registered on mypowercareer.com to receive e-mail updates for new opportunities and was delighted to be selected.
“I really like how OPG converted a coal plant to biomass. It shows how much the company cares—that’s huge. I think OPG should continue to educate the public about nuclear power. The amount of safety I see day-to-day and responsiveness and communication around any incidents is so impressive.”
Working within the Inspection and Maintenance Department in Toronto, Martin plays a hands-on role. “I didn’t really know what to expect from my internship. OPG gives interns a lot of responsibility and a lot of creative and challenging work. They give interns a good feel for what it would be like to work for OPG full time. You’re not treated like an intern. It’s meaningful, challenging stuff that helps me develop the skills I need to become an engineer.”
OPG’s patented Matrix Inspection Technology (MIT) was developed in-house and uses ultrasound to inspect areas and equipment that can be very difficult to access. Instead of making photocopies or picking up coffee, Martin performs refurbishment work and modifications to MIT.
“The tools go into the reactor to measure thinning in feeder pipes and once they’re used, they need to be refurbished. The tools come from the plant and we do the refurbishment. I prepared 10 MIT tools for the P1511 outage. Overall the outage was a great success. I do a lot of three-dimensional modeling for various inspection and maintenance projects. MIT was designed for Pickering A, but Darlington wanted to use the technology. I designed a set of seals to use at Darlington. I created a seal prototype, tested it, and once it passed testing I created corresponding engineering drawings, all within a very tight timeframe. The seals are in production now, so that’s pretty exciting for me. A lot of interns with other companies are doing a lot of paper exercises, so it’s really cool.”
Martin is also quick to point out the additional skills he’s acquired as part of the OPG team. “This internship has strengthened my communication skills. I have to contact vendors for parts and troubleshooting. I have gained a
lot of confidence at OPG, and with the amount of responsibility you have to have confidence. Last week I had the opportunity to instruct an entire training course for staff technicians at Pickering.”
“Overall, going through university, you learn a lot of content, but you don’t learn the skills that are really required to be an engineer. The confidence, communication, and leadership skills are helping me to be a better engineer.”
The work culture at OPG is unique, bringing together diverse talents and experience to address a wide range of technical challenges. Martin feels that the work environment is unique in class, and supports positive development for interns and staff alike. “Everyone is very respectful and polite. Every time I have a question, I’m able to approach staff to help me out. We had an intern for a three-month overlap to help absorb knowledge—it really helped. Overall, it’s fun to come to work every day. I have learned so much from the senior engineers around here. They’re very helpful and informative and they know a lot about everything. There’s a lot of knowledge from the staff.